Action Adventure

‘Mission: Impossible III’ 4K Ultra HD Review: J.J. Abrams Delivers the Franchise’s Most Vital Entry Since the Original

July 4, 2018Ben MK

Before he breathed new life into the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises, director J.J. Abrams helped reinvigorate the Mission: Impossible series, with a sequel that combined the best of the two films that came before it.

In Mission: Impossible III, newly-married Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces his most challenging mission yet. When an operation to rescue his kidnapped protege, IMF agent Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell), goes south in the most terrible of ways, Ethan finds himself incurring the wrath of black market arms dealer Owen Davian (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman), a dangerous criminal mastermind hellbent on obtaining a one-of-a-kind weapon called the Rabbit's Foot. But unlike some enemies, Davian has no qualms with making things personal, and so when he kidnaps Ethan's wife, Julia (Michelle Monaghan), it's up to Ethan and his team (Ving Rhames, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Maggie Q) to rescue her and stop the Rabbit's Foot from falling into the wrong hands.

Whereas the Mission: Impossible sequels were initially conceived to be standalone installments, M:I-III brings greater continuity to the franchise by introducing characters such as computer expert Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), who would go on to play a prominent role in subsequent followups. Suffice to say, the result is not only a must-see for die-hard fans of the series, it's also the most vital entry since the original.

Just as the Mission: Impossible films have gotten bigger and better, so too do these new 4K versions of the movies continue to get more impressive. Once again, the 1080p transfer and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix of the most recent Blu-ray release has been supplanted by a 2160p HDR-enhanced encode and a lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound mix, and the outcome is spectacular. From the cobblestone streets and ancient architecture of Vatican City to the nighttime cityscape of Shanghai, image quality is a stunner through and through, and when you factor in Michael Giacchino's thrilling score and the action-packed sound design, full of gunfire, heavy artillery, drones and explosions, it adds up to a yet another reference-quality entry for home theater enthusiasts.

Paramount's three-disc 4K Ultra HD release includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy and a Blu-ray copy of the film. Aside from the audio commentary, the following extras can be found on the Blu-ray:

  • Commentary by Tom Cruise and Director J.J. Abrams - Cruise and Abrams talk about structuring the narrative for maximum emotional impact, the actors' performances and the character moments, the action sequences and the stunts, shooting in multiple locations, the cinematography and the visual effects, and more.
  • The Making of the Mission (28:42) - A look at the making of Abrams' first feature, including the stunts and pyrotechnics, the costume design, the visual effects, and the production and set design.
  • Inside the IMF (21:15) - A piece focusing on Cruise's co-stars this time around.
  • Mission Action: Inside the Action Unit (25:39) - A more in-depth look at the movie's stunts and action choreography.
  • Visualizing the Mission (10:40) - A look at the crucial role pre-visualization technology plays in planning and orchestrating various sequences.
  • Mission: Metamorphosis (8:09) - The filmmakers and Visual Futurist Syd Mead talk about the creation of the mask-making machine featured in the film.
  • Scoring the Mission (4:59) - Composer Michael Giacchino talks about creating the music score for the movie.
  • Moviefone Unscripted: Tom Cruise / J.J. Abrams (8:03) - The pair interview each other using viewer-submitted questions.
  • Launching the Mission (14:04) - Footage from the film's premiere in five cities around the world ("New York," "Rome," "Paris," "London" and "Japan").
  • Deleted Scenes (5:21) - Five scenes ("Ethan Fight at Top of Stairs," "Zhen Fight in Computer Room," "Musgrave Cemetery Conversation," "Lindsey Graduates" and "Vatican Entry Extended").
  • Theatrical Trailers (5:23) - Four trailers ("Teaser Trailer," "Japan Trailer," "Theatrical Trailer 1" and "Theatrical Trailer 2").
  • TV Spots (3:14) - Six TV spots ("Go Live," "It's Over," "Execute," "Madness," "New Escape" and "Conspiracy Regular").
  • Photo Gallery - 98 production stills from the movie.
  • Excellence in Film (9:15) - A montage of Cruise's work, as shown during the 2005 BAFTA Awards.

Mission: Impossible III is available from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment as of June 26th, 2018. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray features English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 2 hrs. 5 min.

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